You Can’t Go Back

As I compose this, I’m sitting on the couch next to my spouse, Steven. We’re watching TV together. This wouldn’t be a weird thing, except that it’s during the day on a weekday.* That doesn’t usually happen. Or it didn’t usually happen. It certainly can now because Steven was laid off last week.

This was completely unexpected, though not entirely surprising. (He worked in the swiftly-sinking television industry. As he put it “I caught the first lifeboat off the Titanic.”) The lack of warning made it quite the heart-stopping day. The fact that I’m also between jobs leaves us with little in the way of a safety net. And that’s scary.

My greatest personal struggle right now is to keep from beating myself up. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you know I chose to leave my job last year because it wasn’t a great fit, and I wanted to pursue something that would make me happier. That was the right decision at the time. I knew the job market in Edmonton was tough, but I felt it was worth the risk.

From this angle, that risk looks much worse than it did back then. But blah blah hindsight blah blah. As my wise mother told me when I called to tell her the news, “You can’t go back.” Continue reading

Advertisements

My Neverending Childhood

Neverending Story

Yesterday, a local theatre had an afternoon showing of one of my favorite childhood films, The Neverending Story. Steven had never seen it before, so I insisted we go. I own it on DVD, so it wasn’t like it was the first time I’d seen it in many years, but I’d never seen it on the big screen. The first time I ever saw it was on videotape.

When I was little, that was one of our go-to movies. It was before the days you could buy your favorite films on VHS. No, we had to rent it over and over and over again. Then we’d run down the street singing the theme song at the top of our lungs, pretending we were riding Falkor.

I always enjoy watching this film, but seeing it in the theatre, larger-than-life, with the music streaming out at me from large speakers…it was a much more emotional experience than I’d expected. I started tearing up just listening to the opening theme. It took me right back to that insecure, awkward kid I used to be. The little girl who wanted an imaginary world to disappear into in the worst way. By the end, when Bastian starts making wishes, I was a blubbering mess.

And it was great.

Even looking at it as an adult, it holds up rather well. There are a few exceptions–I had a huge crush on Atreyu at the time, but the “noble savage as savior” trope really doesn’t work these days. Also, there’s a dearth of female roles–something I didn’t notice at the time because most movies were like that. The fact that the few we have are either all-knowing Mysterious Creatures or nagging wives doesn’t really sit well with me now.

And this is the movie that taught me about continuity errors. The Childlike Empress wears a nifty pearl headpiece, but in her big scene at the end, the two strips in the middle move depending on which take they used. That bothered the heck out of me when I was little, but now that I’ve seen oodles of examples of this everywhere, I’ve gotten used to it. I do still notice it every time I watch though.

Given how well the rest of this film works, I find all those issues very easy to overlook. (I will admit nostalgia may be a big factor in that.) Even the special effects hold up pretty well. They’re not great, but they’re not laughable like some other fantasy media of the time.

Happily, Steven enjoyed it, even seeing it for the first time as a theoretically-grown-up adult. So we will remain married. And I’ll continue to show him more of the beloved films he’s missed. But that…is another story.

Coming Home

Returning home after a delightful vacation is always weird. Today I’m in that not-quite-here, certainly-not-there fog that follows a trip to a place that is very different from home. Steven and I rolled in the door and tumbled into bed around 1am this morning after a fun-filled trip to visit our Incomparable impresario Jason Snell and the magnificent Bay Area of California.*

SF-GG bridge w fog

This morning, I am digging through email and trying to catch up on the little things I missed while having fun. I did take time to water the plants before bed, but that’s the only thing. I didn’t even unpack until this afternoon.

At some point, I’ll probably do some more specific travel-journalling about the trip (knowing me, it’ll be weeks or months down the road, which will be great, because by then I’ll be entrenched in boring home-life and I’ll really want to reminisce about it), but for now, suffice it to say I had a truly fabulous time–even better than I expected! It’s a beautiful part of the world with exciting things to do (most of them sports, apparently), and it was made all the better by spending so much of it with good friends.

Would someone please tell my brain I’m now at home and should get down to work doing home things? Because it reeeeally doesn’t want to. It thinks I should go for a walk or be at a baseball game or pet a sweet doggie. Actually, that first option does sound both good and doable. Edmonton’s river valley may not be the Pacific Ocean, but it’s very pretty in its own right.

River Valley

I can feel my inbox giving me the side-eye at the suggestion leaving the house is a good idea. On the other hand, the empty, forlorn fridge thinks I should leave immediately and go to the store. I am being guilted from all sides by inanimates. Story of my life these days, really.

Okay, I should give in to one of these. I shouldn’t just lie down and read a book or play Ultima VII. I really shouldn’t…

.

.

.

.

*I have to admit, it always bothered/confused me when people said they were from “the Bay Area” because I legitimately didn’t know what they meant. There are an awful lot of bays in the world. It’s only recently that I realized most people mean California when they say it. I’ve pretty much gotten used to it by now, but it still strikes me as a term rather typical of the kind of people who use phrases like “flyover states” unironically. Ahh, language.

Better Days Ahead (Or So I’m Telling Myself)

Yesterday I got turned down for a job I didn’t really want. There were enough drawbacks it would have been a tough job to make work logistically, and it (probably) wouldn’t have paid enough to make it worth it. That said, while waiting to hear back, I’d almost talked myself into taking it anyway if they offered it, simply because I need the paycheck.

So when I got that rejection email, my instant reaction was disappointment. Very very quickly, that changed to acceptance. And at this point, I’m near to relief. While I would have been really good at the job, the hurdles required to get there would have gotten old fast.

Later that same day, I found two promising jobs to apply to, received a call back from a placement agency, and got a lead on a communications job in a good office (a dog-friendly office with at least one very nice office pup!). Now, there’s no guarantee any of these will pan out any better than that last one did, but if I’d taken that not-great position, I’d’ve missed out on all these opportunities, which very well may fit my lifestyle and location perfectly.

So if you’re floundering, I know it’s cheesy to say “brave heart, hang in there”, but seriously, do. There’s no shame in getting discouraged and down on yourself—that’s where I was about a week ago. But I keep reminding myself all those negative feelings don’t help anything. Sure, there’s no guarantee things will turn around. There’s a chance they won’t and things will get worse. BUT. There’s also a chance that something fab will come around the next corner.

Thus, whenever possible, I try to operate emotionally as if something good is on the way. Not because I think there’s some cosmic power that’s going to make it happen if I think happy thoughts (though if there is, all the better), but because feeling happy (or at least calm) won’t get in my way. Feeling worried and scared most certainly does get in the way of getting shit done.

I know I can’t feel good about everything all the time. But I can choose not to wallow on purpose. So here’s me not wallowing. In fact, I’m chillin’ in a coffee shop before an interview at that placement agency I mentioned. Wish me luck!

Knitting – Back in the Game!

scarf LS 2016-05-04

I started this blog waaaaay back in 2011. My goal at the time was to watch geeky TV and work on knitting the season 18 Doctor Who scarf. If you read my posts regularly, you’ll know that plan didn’t exactly continue with any strength or regularity. In fact, until recently, I hadn’t even picked up the scarf since well before I moved to Canada. And I moved just over two years ago.

I just looked, and my most recent knitting post was in December of 2012. Yikes. I didn’t realize it had been that long. And that post wasn’t even about the scarf! You have to time travel all the way back to January of 2012 to find any record of that project. Bad Erika! Continue reading

Torrid Customer Service, a Hot Mess

I try not to get upset about material things if I can help it. I’m such an anti-stuff person it’s rare I get invested in anything that takes up space in the real world. My recent customer service fiasco with Torrid reminded me why: disappointment sucks.

Torrid TARDIS coat

Is it not gorgeous?

I have had my eye on the TARDIS coat from Hot Topic/Torrid ever since they first announced their line of Doctor Who clothing. And by “had my eye on” I mean “coveted the hell out of”. But I’ve been trying not to spend too much, so I’ve resisted.

A while back, Steven declared he’d buy the coat for me as a gift if it ever came back in stock. (It had gone out of stock almost immediately, which surprised no one who pays attention to Doctor Who fandom.) I was DELIGHTED. We did scour several Hot Topic stores to see if there was a rogue one left in a corner somewhere. Continue reading